The Yale Law Journal

Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Cites Volume 127 Forum Essay

Isabelle Hanna
09 May 2019

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently cited Alicia Solow-Niederman’s Volume 127 Forum Essay, Beyond the Privacy Torts: Reinvigorating a Common Law Approach for Data Breaches, to hold that the plaintiffs had Article III standing to challenge a retailer’s practice of printing customers’ credit-card numbers on receipts. In Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Nos. 16-16486, 16-16783, 2019 WL 1760292, at *6 (11th Cir. Apr. 22, 2019), the court determined that the plaintiffs’ alleged injury—an elevated risk of identity theft—was concrete because of its sufficiently close relationship to the common-law tort of breach of confidence. The Eleventh Circuit cited Ms. Solow-Niederman’s Essay to note that the harm from a breach of confidence is the violation of the plaintiff’s trust, regardless of the breach’s consequences. Id. at *9. The Muransky plaintiffs had trusted Godiva with their credit-card information. Id. By printing that information on receipts, Godiva did not simply violate the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Godiva also violated its customers’ trust by increasing the risk that their credit-card information would become public. Id. Thus, the court found that there was a sufficiently close relationship between the common-law tort and the alleged injury to satisfy constitutional standing per Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016). Id. Read the slip opinion in Muransky here: